Laurel Highland Hiking Trail
September 30 - October 7, 2022
Co-Trip Leaders: Nanette Eshelman and Will Eshelman
Type of Trip: Backpacking
Trip Cost/Deposit: $275/$135
Cancellation Date and full payment: June 30, 2022
Wilderness Level: 3 - typical meetup day event in good weather setting with cell coverage
Trip Difficulty: Rugged - 75 total miles with 14 max per day
Policy on Fitness Self-Assessment
Level 3: Applies to backpacking trips in which we hike with 25-35 pound backpacks. In one day, we can hike up to 7 miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain on maintained trails, or up to 5 miles and 2000 feet of elevation gain on more rugged trails. For a Level 3 trip you should be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles in a day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25-pound backpack.
Level 4: Denotes backpacking trips on established but rugged, unmaintained trail with multi-day backpacks (30-40 pounds). The hiking can be steep and sustained with long daily distances (up to 9 miles) and significant elevation change (up to 4000 feet). You should be comfortable running/biking/hiking for several hours without many breaks.
Group Size: 7/7 Maximum/Minimum
While considering your participation in CIWC trips, be aware that some trips will involve shared transportation, lodging, and other activities. Each participant is encouraged to evaluate your comfort level with such arrangements based on your health condition, vaccination status, and unknown COVID positivity rates at the time of the trip. Members are encouraged to review the COVID waiver as a part of this evaluation.
The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail is a 70- mile hiking and backpacking trail from Ohiopyle to near Johnstown, PA. The trail has 8 shelter areas which feature Adirondack style shelters and tent sites which are occupied by reservation only. Each shelter & tenting area has access to water pumps, toilets and trash cans. The 3-sided shelters have a fireplace at the open end and comfortably sleep 4 adults. The trail has diverse terrain and travels thru dark pine forests, thick Laurel groves, massive rock features and a few high elevation views. If our timing is right, the Fall colors will be popping. Both ends of the trail are strenuous, but many sections are easy hiking.
Our lodging on our travel day will be in rustic cabins in Ohiopyle State Park. The next morning our shuttle will leave Ohiopyle to MM70 in Seward. A climb of 5.1 miles and 1300 ft. elevation gain will take us to our first overnight at Decker Shelter. The next section is an easy 8 miles plus a side trip to the water pump at the trailhead parking area. Our miles per day will increase (three 14-mile days) as will our views of rocky passageways and mossy gardens. Sections of cathedral-like pines will give a soft carpeted footing and the miles go quickly. The trail goes thru the Seven Springs Ski Resort and the views are beautiful. The final 6 miles has more challenging terrain and rocky footing, but the reward is the scenic overlook of the Youghiogheny River and the railroad. We will have earned a stop for lunch at the Falls Creek Pub before our trip home.
Fee covers all cabin and shelter rentals, transportation to and from Indianapolis in a van rental, and shuttle to the trail head. Participants are responsible for their own meals. There will be a shakedown hike on August 6 to test our trail readiness and evaluate gear needs.
Questions may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All trip participants must fill out and submit a CIWC Medical Form and Long Waiver Form.
Effective on all trips, there will be a $50 non refundable registration fee. This fee will be assessed to those who sign up for a trip, get on the roster and then later cancel. Even cancelling before the cancel date. Those who never make the active roster (i.e. those who stay on the waitlist) will NOT be charged the $50 cancellation fee.